ResNet staff pose at Kramden sign
ResNet staff volunteer at Kramden Institute’s Geek-A-Thon

ITS ResNET doesn’t rest.

ResNET, the program that provides onsite IT support, education and the technology infrastructure for UNC-Chapel Hill residence halls, has been as busy as ever the last few months. ResNET, which is short for Residential Networking, Education & Technology, has expanded printing stations, revamped events, collaborated on the installation of more access points for wireless, participated in a charity effort, and helped launch and support a new makerspace location. Those are just a few of ResNET’s accomplishments in recent months.

Here are some of the highlights:

Rolled out more printing stations

CCI Printing is now in every residence hall community at Carolina.

During Summer 2017, ITS Teaching & Learning and ResNET collaborated to set up 10 additional CCI Printing stations in the residence halls. This expansion, which was completed ahead of the start of the Fall 2017 semester, brings the total number of CCI Printing stations in the residence halls up to 28 and ensures that every resident has access to two print locations in their community.

The decision to increase the number of printers in the residence halls was based on multiple years of survey data from residents that was analyzed on a building-by-building basis.

Teaching & Learning runs the printers while ResNET staff provide the front line of support, maintaining printer ink and paper levels throughout the year.

A ResNET staff member operates equipment at a ResNET tech fair
Between September and December 2017, 721 students attended ResNET’s mini tech fairs

Boosted Wi-Fi access

In 2017, ResNET and the Department of Housing & Residential Education coordinated with ITS Communication Technologies on a project to better satisfy students’ wireless needs.

Communication Technologies installed about 2,000 more access points in locations within the residence halls that had the most feedback about trouble spots. This data-driven decision was based on multiple years of floor-by-floor survey data from residents in combination with areas where Communication Technologies identified the most signal issues. Each room or suite received an additional access point at the eight Baity Hill apartment buildings, Craige North, Hardin, Horton, Koury and the five Ram Village apartment buildings.

Additional access points may be installed as ITS Communication Technologies, ResNET and Housing continue to identify areas with weak signal throughout the halls.

Revised and revamped events

Throughout 2017, ResNET revised and revamped some of its events.

One notable change was the addition of two tech fairs per week, rotated by location. These fairs are essentially mini versions of the ITS Tech Fair held each September in The Pit. Students who attend the residence halls tech fairs can learn about 3-D printers, Adobe Creative Cloud applications, Office 365, and ways to protect themselves and the University against phishing attempts. They can get their laptop cleaned, hear about ResNET and Service Desk assistance, and find out about SkillfUL technology training and other IT resources, such as training offered through Lynda.com and ways to avoid phishing attacks.

In all, 721 students attended these mini tech fairs between September and December 2017.

At the University’s Safetoberfest, an annual event that informs students about different ways to stay safe on campus, ResNET opted to focus entirely on phishing, as phishers were ramping up their digital assaults on Carolina. ResNET, Housing and other campus partners drew 700 people to the October 26, 2017 event. These participants completed a passport indicating they had visited each table.

The Blue Makerspace has 22 3-D printers on this rack and two larger 3-D printers on the table beyond
The Blue Makerspace has 22 3-D printers on this rack and two larger 3-D printers on the table beyond

Volunteered at Geek-A-Thon

ResNET staff attend at least one philanthropic event that is technology-related each semester. In November 2017, ResNET staff chose one of the Kramden Institute’s Geek-A-Thon events for their volunteer efforts. Eleven ResNET staff attended the event in Durham. They helped build computers from spare computer parts for the organization. Kramden collects, refurbishes and awards computers to students and families without a computer in their home in an effort to bridge the digital divide.

Helped launch Carmichael makerspace

ResNET collaborated with the Department of Housing & Residential Education, BeAM, OASIS and the Kenan-Flagler Business School to create a new makerspace at Carmichael Residence Hall. Blue Makerspace, a 3,000-square-foot center available to students, staff and faculty opened in Fall 2017.

The space is named for the blue light emitted from the assemblage of 3-D printers at the center—24 in all. In addition to the 3-D printers, Blue provides other digital fabrication tools and a full kitchen for culinary creations.

ResNET worked with Housing to purchase the technology for the space and coordinated with OASIS and BeAM staff to configure that technology.

Each of the participating partners has a role in the new space. ResNET maintains the audio-visual equipment in the space and conducts routine proactive checks on all technology in the space. OASIS, oversees computer access and maintenance of computers in the space for the BeAM employees. BeAM maintains the 3-D printers and staffing of the makerspace. Kenan-Flagler Business School, meanwhile, uses the space to teach classes as part of its innovation-themed learning community, called Blue Sky Innovation Community, or Blue, for short.

The Carmichael makerspace is one of four on campus. The other makerspaces within the BeAM network are located at Hanes Art Center, Murray Hall and Venable Hall.

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